BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. SERRANO. First of all, I want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for bringing this bill to the floor.
In 2001, I sponsored the original resolution which created the ``Hispanic Americans in Congress'' book. And to some folks watching this debate, that may not be the most important bill we will debate in the next couple of days--or it may be, for that matter--but on the other hand, when you really think of the historic nature of this resolution and what happened in 2001, where this book became a very big item in libraries and communities throughout the Nation--in fact, Members of Congress received a lot of mail and phone calls at that time asking for copies, and of course it was a very limited amount.
Now, this resolution would allow for a growth in that number, but most importantly, dealing with the world we deal in today, this resolution allows for a digital copy to be made available. Now, I don't know the specific language of the bill, but I would imagine that any American then can take that digital copy and make their own copy, and so libraries and schools and individuals will be able to make that number grow. And it's important to know why that is an important thing to do.
``Women in Congress,'' ``African Americans in Congress,'' ``Hispanics in Congress'' was simply a way for people to say we have a lot of information about these particular communities in terms of what they've done in sports, in show business, in business, but there's little information--very little--as to what has happened in Congress since the beginning of time of our Republic. So this book, when it first came out, was really something that incurred a lot of research and brought about a lot of discussion because people just did not know how long back there had been Hispanic Americans in Congress.
Finally, with the growth of the Latino leadership community, with the fact that when this book first came out, to be honest, it was really a book about this side of the aisle, now the next book will be about a wide side of the aisle, both sides, because it has grown dramatically, and we suspect after the next election the number will even grow more dramatically.
So I thank you both for bringing this resolution up. I hope all Members vote for it unanimously and we can get the book printed as soon as possible.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT